Kristen Watkins is the Chief Operating Officer at Opportunity Insights. Previously she worked as a Policy Manager at J-PAL North America, a research center focused on poverty alleviation based within the Department of Economics at MIT. There, she led the Creating Moves to Opportunity project, developed strategies for taking evidence-based solutions to scale, and worked with governments and researchers to develop research partnerships.
Prior to joining J-PAL, Kristen worked at Next Street, an economic development advisory firm that engaged across the small business ecosystem to create inclusive growth in underserved communities. She has also worked at Recology, a progressive recycling and waste management firm, to design more sustainable waste systems in partnership with West Coast cities and counties.
Kristen received her Master in City Planning and Bachelor of Science degrees from MIT where she worked on community empowerment projects in several cities. Kristen also serves on the Board of Directors of the Cambridge-based non-profit Food for Free and as co-chair of the Cambridge Recycling Advisory Committee.